Full Text Campaign Buzz 2016 July 21, 2015: Full Text of Gov. John Kasich’s Campaign Launch at Ohio State University Transcript

ELECTION 2016

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CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2016

Transcript: Read Full Text of Gov. John Kasich’s Campaign Launch

Source: Time, 7-21-15

Ohio Gov. John Kasich launched his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination Tuesday with a speech at The Ohio State University.

Here is a transcript of the full remarks.

KASICH: Wow. Huh? Wow.

Well, listen, standing here with me, of course, are the people who I’ve dedicated my life to: My sweet daughters, Emma and Reese Kasich.

You know, I remember when they were born — remember that, sweetie?

(LAUGHTER)

I kept saying to the doctor, “How’s it going,” you know, and he’s trying to deliver two, and finally, he looks at me square in the eye, and he said, “Can you shut up? I’m a little busy right now.”

(LAUGHTER)

And they came out, and I could hold them in the palm of my hand. It was so sweet.

And so I, along with Karen, have dedicated our lives to giving them a better life than we were able to ever get from our parents. And you know what? They’re doing fantastic. Emma and Reese Kasich.

(APPLAUSE)

And my wife, pray for her. She’s married to me, OK?

(LAUGHTER)

KASICH: From the very tips of my toes to the top of my head, I just love my wife so much. Such a greater partner…

(APPLAUSE)

… and such a great lady.

So I want to tell you that it’s this whole business of the American Dream, isn’t it, that we can all work to make sure that next generation is going to be in a position of greater strength than what we received. And I get my inspiration from the people who came before me. And I want to tell you about a few of the ones that inspire me.

I’d like to start with my uncle Steve. Uncle Steve was a tough guy — you know, the son of a coal miner. Rough and gruff and tell it like it is. And he found himself at Iwo Jima, and he looked around during that battle and he saw a lot of people dying. Uncle Steve was not a church-going man, but in the middle of all the violence and the blood and the death, he said to God, if you will take me off this island, I will go to church every day for the rest of my life.

(LAUGHTER)

And he did. And he did. And Uncle Steve…

(APPLAUSE)

When Uncle Steve came home from the war, the brothers all slept in the same room; they didn’t have a lot. And Uncle George told me that he would have nightmares and he would speak in Japanese. And he told his brothers never wake me, never wake me from that nightmare because I don’t what will happen. Let me sleep and wake up on my own.

And Uncle George — he’s here today, he’s right over here. He’s 89 years old.

(APPLAUSE)

I so love my Uncle George. He’s the patriarch of our family. Well, Uncle George was in the infantry, and he was scheduled to take a boat from England to Belgium. But the division he was in couldn’t all fit in the boat, so they asked Uncle George to wait until the next day. Well that boat left England on its way to Belgium, and a submarine launched a torpedo and sunk that boat and everyone on it perished.

The next day, Uncle George took another boat and he landed in France. And he fought with great honor and he returned home and became a guidance counselor and guided young people for the next 38 years of his life. What a man.

(APPLAUSE)

You know, when my father-in-law — we call him Popsy, grandfather — joined the Marines at the age of 17; wanted to serve his country. But I guess most important, my mom and dad. You know, Mom was — well, she was a visionary. Didn’t get the education; you know, her mother could barely speak English, but boy, was she smart. And if you think I have opinions, you never met my mom.

(LAUGHTER)

And my father was the mailman. They called him John the Mailman. And when we laid my mother and father to rest, there were countless numbers of people who came and said John the Mailman, he watched out for all of us. And they gave up so much, didn’t take — I wished they’d have spent more on themselves, but they just — no matter what you told them, they weren’t doing to do it because it was all about the next generation. And they are the ones that have inspired me.

And all of you that are here today, you’re the same way, aren’t you? You’ve got those people who did so much for you who are your heroes. And they don’t have to be famous, they’re just people you love and that you admire. That American Dream that is pivotal for the future for our country, but I have to tell you there are a lot of people in America today who are not sure that that American Dream is possible, that that American Dream is alive. And I can understand their concerns.

KASICH: You know, when I was a kid, you went out and you got a job and you worked at that job your entire lifetime. You got your health care, you got your retirement and everything was good.

Today, you could be a 51-year-old man and one day after serving and doing everything the right way, somebody walks into your office and says, I’m sorry, but we don’t need you anymore.

Can you imagine that conversation?

Could you imagine that dad when he is driving home or that mom when she is driving home?

They lose confidence. They wonder what their future is.

Can they get another job?

Can they support their family?

Will anybody be there to help them?

Or how about moms and dads today?

They send their kids to college, many of these young people ringing up massive amounts of debt trying to get an education and they are living in the attic and Mom and Dad are wondering, will they get a job?

Will they pay their bills?

What kind of a future are they going to have?

Or, at the same time, we can also think about what all of us fear greatly and that is the problems of bad health.

Can I afford those expensive drugs that I need to survive?

What is it going to cost me to get treatment, just not for myself but for one of the loved ones in my family?

Will I be bankrupted and lose everything I have, everything I’ve worked for?

It’s a real fear.

Or the fear of the tsunami of drugs — it’s everywhere, isn’t it? The kids that are here and there are many of them, don’t do drugs, don’t put that big 1,000-pound pack on your back and keep you from your God-given purpose. But all moms and dads worry that those drugs are going to wash away our own neighborhoods and maybe wash away our children.

And how about those that struggle to make ends meet?

There are some people just say, oh, well, just work harder or pull yourself up by your bootstraps. I believe in all that. Some people just don’t have the fortune that many of us have. And they struggle. They struggle for a whole lifetime and they worry, that can they rise?

Can they — can they pull the rest of their family members up the ladder, the promise of America? And they worry about it.

Or how about if you are a member of the minority community, an African American?

You wonder. The system, I think, sometimes doesn’t just work for me but sometimes I feel like that system works against me. And you think about the troubles that many of our African Americans still face today in a world where we have worked to provide equal rights and opportunities. Sometimes they are not so sure and I don’t blame them.

Or how about all of us? We pick up the paper. It’s Chattanooga, it’s Fort Hood, it’s ISIS.

Are we safe?

Are we going to be safe to go to the mall?

Are we safe to leave our homes?

These are the worries that many Americans have.

But I have to tell you, as serious as these are — and they are very serious — we have had a lot worse, much worse in this country.

Think about it, the civil war.

You remember reading about it? I mean, it’s not just neighbors fighting against neighbors, but it was even family members, kin fighting against one another and killing one another on a battlefield right in America.

How about the racial violence that we experienced in this country?

The early days of television when they put the dogs and the gas and the batons on people of another color. Or the world wars, where many in our families never came home, leaving widows and children without a dad. Or the Depression, the Depression. Ask your grandfather, ask your mom and dad about that depression.

KASICH: My father used to say that he would go down to the store and get some food for the family and the guy would say, “We’ll put it on your bill.” There was no bill. That’s what it took for America to get through the Depression.

And you all remember that crystal clear morning and the horror we felt on 9/11.

But guess what? We’ve always got through it, because the testing is what makes you stronger. It’s the challenges that make you better. I have lived through them, and I have become stronger for them, and America has become stronger for them.

And here’s how we’ve done it: by staying together. Not by dividing each other but by staying together with our eyes on the horizon, with our eyes on the horizon, about the future.

(APPLAUSE)

We have a little town in Ohio called Wilmington. They followed that formula.

Let me tell you about these folks. They played by the rules — worked every day, highly productive, teamwork — and one day, an employer said, “We’re leaving. We’re out of here.”

And thousands of people, thousands of hardworking, God-fearing people like your neighbors, went from getting a paycheck on a Friday afternoon to visiting a food pantry so they could feed their kids.

I was down there in 2010 after this earthquake — economic earthquake hit Wilmington. We had a campaign bus. My wife was with me.

We walked through that food pantry. We looked at the people and preachers and civil servants and leaders and caregivers. They were at the food pantry, but they hadn’t lost any hope, because they had their eyes on the horizon.

We got back on the bus — I will never forget it as long as I live — we got back on — on the bus, and I said, “Folks, do you understand” — some of them had been with me for a long time, so they got it. But some of the others were rookies.

I said, “Do you understand what we are doing here? This isn’t a political campaign.” And by the way, either will this be. “This is not a political campaign.

“Did you see those people? Did you see the tears in their eyes? Did you see them hugging their children? Did you see them not hopeless? We’re going to join in, and we’re going to help them, because it is our job and our mission as human beings, as children of God, to work with them, to lift them.”

And guess what? And guess what?

(APPLAUSE)

And in Wilmington today, the sun’s coming up. I told them that the sun would come up again. It hasn’t reached its zenith, but the sun is rising, and the sun is going to rise to the zenith in America again. I promise you, it will happen.

(APPLAUSE)

Listen, you know — you know — you know who does this? See, it’s you and me. See, it’s teachers and preachers and moms and dads, doctors, construction workers, like that sweet man in Brown County that saw his family washed away over the weekend — keep him in your prayers — police and firemen and people like my dad, the mailman, John the mailman, because we are the glue, we are the glue that holds our country together.

How about — as for me, as for me, look, I’m just trying to do my best, OK?

I came here to Ohio State. I found myself on the 19th floor of one of the towers. You could hit it with a stone from here.

I had 15 roommates. The place was 23 floors high. The tower next door, the same size.

KASICH: Ohio State can be a pretty intimidating place, OK. It’s big. It is a big place. And I left my dorm room, went down to the first floor and I walked just right down the path to Ohio Stadium. And it was a time when you could actually walk in that stadium, they didn’t have that one end closed in. And I walked into that stadium — I swear this happened — and I walked right to the 50 yard line.

There was no one in the stadium that day, and I looked around. All of those seats, those big structures that were there and I thought to myself either this place is going to take me down or I’m going to take it down.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

One way or the other, it was going to be — you know, either it was going to be me or it was going to be a place, kids — because you’ll face it someday — to help me move forward.

You know, it’s amazing, I’m back here today. You could throw a stone and hit that stadium or you could hit that dormitory so many years later, and guess what? I am here to ask you for your prayers, for your support, for your efforts because I have decided to run for president of the United States.

(APPLAUSE)

You know, they — they ask you all the time like it’s a trick question or something, you know, well why do you want to do this. I mean, it’s like they’re going to catch you, right?

(LAUGHTER)

I mean — I mean, if you can’t answer that question, you ought to be back at the 50 yard line at Ohio Stadium wondering about your future.

(LAUGHTER)

I do this because — well, first of all, we’re not born to serve others. Think about this, I want you to think about this. If we’re not born to serve others, what were we born to do? I do this for my family, of course, for my sweet family, for my neighbors, Molly, for my friends of many, many, many years, many of whom are working with me today 30, 40 years later. I really do it for everyone. And I have to humbly tell you — and I mean humbly tell you — that I believe I do have the skills and I have the experience…

(APPLAUSE)

I have the experience and the testing, the testing which shapes you and prepares you for the most important job in the world. And I believe I know how to work and help restore this great United States. And I have to tell you, it’s a daunting challenge.

I was just at Wendy’s on Saturday up here on Hudson Avenue, and the two wonderful African-American fellows were there. And I walked in, I was standing behind them, and one said to the other one, I don’t know what I believe what I’m seeing, but I think that’s Governor Kasich standing behind me.

(LAUGHTER)

And he said you better run. Do you know what meant to me? Two African-American guys, one with a knee — a brace on his knee and another one with a cane. And I said well, you know, people are going to have a lot more money than I am, and they looked at me and they said but you’ve got statistics, you’ve got statistics.

(LAUGHTER)

KASICH: So some are going to ask, as they always have, why do you think you can do this. You know, all of my life, people have told me you can’t do something, OK? And I’ll tell you why. It’s because I do believe in the power of very big idea, big bold ideas.

In 1976, I went out to the convention in Kansas City and not only worked for Ronald Reagan, but I worked with Ronald Reagan and I got to travel with Ronald Reagan.

(APPLAUSE)

Yes, I actually knew the guy, OK, the real guy, not from the history book. He lost at that convention. I had been managing, I think, five states for him at that convention. I mean, you talk about lightning striking me. I was 24 years old. I walked in; they were one man short and said, could you manage five states for the governor? I had no idea what they were saying.

I said, of course I could. OK? I had no idea about it.

Well, he lost, as you know. And I was there when he met with his closest advisers. And he said we’ve lost the battle. We hadn’t lost any war because we will all be back. And I’m going to fix America with all of your help.

And of course, he did and it further cemented my notion that big ideas — big ideas change the world. Big ideas change the world.

(APPLAUSE)

So I came back — I came back here to Ohio and I was all charged up and I was working as an aide. And I came back and I remember meeting with one of my buddies. And I said, you know, I think I’m going to just run for the state senate and beat that guy we had been watching. And I remember he was drinking something and it fell on the floor when I told him that.

People, look, I was 24.5 years old. I had no relatives that lived in the state. I didn’t really know anybody, but I had a big idea.

And you know what we did? We went out and we got moms and dads, a lot of moms who went door to door and rang doorbells. And the weekend before the election one of the local newspapers said, he is a fine young man but he has no chance to win.

Well, I won that election with the help of the army of volunteers. I went on to chair the health committee, where I learned to work across the aisle because the House was run by Democrats and that is where I learned that policy is far more important than politics, ideology or any of the other nonsense we see.

(APPLAUSE)

You know, they said it couldn’t be done. We proved them wrong.

And then at the ripe old age of 30 I decided I’m going to run for Congress.

My mother and father are like, Johnny, what are you doing now? OK?

Well, they said I couldn’t win. I was too young. And by the way, I was — I was going to run against an incumbent in 1982; it’s like the worst year. We lost 26 Republican seats that year. I was going to run against a guy — a guy who got one of his degrees from Harvard.

(LAUGHTER)

That’s when I knew I had an edge. Clearly he couldn’t have gotten into Ohio State. And I knew I had an edge.

(APPLAUSE)

And in 1982 I was the only Republican in America to defeat an incumbent Democrat all across this country. And…

(APPLAUSE)

… guess what? Here is the irony. I got to go to Washington and work with President Ronald Reagan.

You know?

(APPLAUSE)

They said — they said it couldn’t be done and we proved them wrong again.

And then I got down to Washington and got on a — the Armed Services Committee, where I served for 18 years on national security. And I was there just the blink of an eye and I discovered that these hammers and screwdrivers had cost thousands of dollars. And it was taking the resources from the people that needed it who were serving in the military. We were wasting money.

And I said we need to clean this up. And they’re like, “No, come on. It’s the Pentagon. You can’t — you — forget about it. It can’t happen.”

KASICH: Well, we passed some legislation and we made things right. We saved money. We improved the system. And we helped the military. They said it couldn’t be done and we proved them wrong again.

(APPLAUSE)

Let me be clear. Our military must be improved. We need to — we need to…

(APPLAUSE)

We need to cut the bureaucracy, and we need to strengthen our services.

Now, I’m a person — I’m person that doesn’t like to spend a lot of money. But in this case, national security climbs to the very top of the heap, because we must be strong, and we must assume our role as leaders of the world.

(APPLAUSE)

So six years after I got to Congress, I got on the budget committee. And I remember going to those first few meetings, Bob. I mean, it was, like, terrible, and I was complaining. I was up right here at a gas station in Westerville, and I’m saying, “These people don’t want to do anything.”

And some guy walked around the pump, and he looked me square in the eye. He said, “Things are so bad, what are you going to do about them”?

So I flew down to Washington, I met with my staff, about six of them, and I said, “You know, I think — I think we should just write a budget for the United States of America.” And they said, “Well, there’s, like, 100 people at the White House working on a budget and probably 50 up here, and we only have six.”

And I said, “I know, we’re overstaffed, but we stay out of our way, we’ll be able to get this done.”

(LAUGHTER)

And we wrote a budget for the United States of America.

And why? Everybody knows me as a budget guy. It’s not about numbers; it’s about vision, it’s about values, and we do not have the right as grownups to ring up debts to suit ourselves and pass them onto the next generation. We don’t have that right.

(APPLAUSE)

10 years of my life I worked at this.

My first budget was 405 to 30. I had the 30. My staff was depressed. I thought we were doing pretty well. That’s how I was.

(LAUGHTER)

Well, we just kept at it and kept at it and kept at it.

And you heard my great friend, John Sununu, by the way, one of the smart — he’s a wonderful, wonderful man. If John Sununu had not come to me and told me he was going to help me in New Hampshire, I wouldn’t have done this. I — I’ve just got to tell you. He is remarkable, and we did it together.

And the politicians didn’t care about — they — they didn’t care about anything, about being reelected; they cared about fixing America, Pat. They cared about getting the budget balanced and getting the economy going.

You know what? They said it couldn’t be done. They said it was too big, too hard, too much politics, and we proved them wrong again, and we balanced that federal budget. We balanced it.

(APPLAUSE)

You want job creation, you balance the books. Am I right? You balance the books.

And if I’m president — or maybe I should say when I am president…

(APPLAUSE)

… I will promise you — I will promise you that my top priority will get this country on a path to fiscal independence, strength, and we will rebuild the economy of this country, because creating jobs is our highest moral purpose, and we will move to get that done.

(APPLAUSE)

And by the way — by the way, how about a little balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution so Congress will start doing its job?

(APPLAUSE)

So I left. You know, I — I — I left Washington and had a great time. You — you know, I was — worked at Lehman Brothers and learned about businesses, and I went to Fox News, where, as you know, I was a giant television star.

(LAUGHTER)

And I had a great time.

But you know, I — I had a calling. It was like — here’s kind of how it went. Didn’t hear anything, but it was clear to me.

“You’ve had an amazing life. You got a lot of skills. You’re going back. You’re going back.”

And I sensed it when I was on a trip and I came back and called my friends together and said, “I guess we got to do this,” and they — you know, a lot of people, the doubters, they said, “Well, you know, you haven’t been in politics for 10 years, in a decade. You have never run state-wide, and we haven’t defeated an incumbent in 36 years in Ohio. Incumbents don’t lose.”

KASICH: So we put together a vision, we put together a team. They said it couldn’t be done and we proved them wrong again.

(APPLAUSE)

And then we took over the reins. But, you know, we didn’t go unprepared. We knew what we wanted to do, because I’m going to tell you, if I’m president, I know what we need to do, OK? There’s no confusion about that. I know what needs to be done. I have been there at all levels, OK.

(APPLAUSE)

When we came in here, $8 billion in the hole, a loss of 350,000 jobs, $0.89 in the rainy day fund. One guy said that he game them a dollar just to double the rainy day fund. A lot of hopelessness here, particularly among the poor and minorities.

People said maybe Ohio’s best days are behind them. I thought that was just a bunch of baloney. And I said not only will we get this budget balanced, but we’ll cut taxes, and they were like, are you kidding me? There’s no way we can do that. So we went to work. And we didn’t have to slash — we didn’t have to really slash things, we just had to use a 21st century formula.

Improve things, innovate them, make a better product at a lower price. You know, let Mom and Dad stay in their home rather than being forced in a nursing home, let them stay in their own home where they’ll be healthier and happier. And if we have to knock down the special interests to get it done, so be it. And that’s what we did.

(APPLAUSE)

Now today, four-and-a-half years later, $8 billion in the hole, $2 billion surplus. A loss of 350,000 jobs, a gain of 350,000 jobs. And tax cuts, tax cuts of $5 billion, the largest in the country.

(APPLAUSE)

And as I hope you all know, economic growth is not an end unto itself. If you’re drug addicted, we’re going to try to rehab you and get you on your feet. If you’re mentally ill, prison is no place for you. Some treatment and some help is where you need to be. If you’re the working poor, we’re going to give you an opportunity to take a pay raise and not bang you over the head because you’re trying to get ahead. Well, we’re changing that system. If you have an autistic son or daughter, for most of them, they can get insurance, and we’ll work to make sure all of them have it. For the developmentally disabled, they’re made in God’s image. They have a right to rise, they have to be successful.

(APPLAUSE)

And with all this — with all this, they said it couldn’t be done. And guess what? We proved them wrong again. And I’m going to take what we’ve learned here in the heartland, that band of brothers and sisters that I work with every day, and we are going to take the lessons of the heartland and straighten out Washington, D.C. and fix our country.

(APPLAUSE)

Well, and you know, now they’re going to say — got a lot of them back here — they’re going to say well, you know, nice guy or good guy or whatever they — or not a good guy, whatever they’re going to say, OK.

(LAUGHTER)

I don’t know if he can win. But with you, and you, sweetheart, OK; can you paint signs?

(LAUGHTER)

And with — and with all of you, together, we’ll prove them wrong again, won’t we? We’ll prove them wrong again.

(APPLAUSE)

AUDIENCE: Go John go! Go John go!

KASICH: Thank you.

So our team — you know, we’ll tame the bureaucracy, we’ll restore some common sense. Mary Taylor has the Common Sense Initiative; get rid of all those stupid rules. Well, we’ll do that in Washington.

(APPLAUSE)

KASICH: How about putting some people in the government that understand job creators and respect them rather than beating them down? How — how about that for an idea?

(APPLAUSE)

How about some common sense and make America stronger militarily?

But folks, here’s the thing that I want to say to you, and I said this at my inaugural. Some people think they just don’t matter in this. Do you know how wrong that is?

You know, we got this Holocaust Memorial, and there’s a line etched that says, “If you save one life, you’ve changed the world.”

Do you believe that? Do you believe that?

(APPLAUSE)

If you save one life, you changed the world. And the Lord will record what you’ve done for another in the Book of Life.

Now, we’ve got some values that we need to think about that can bring us together. Because folks, we’re a divided country, but we can fix it.

I’ll tell you what I think some of them are: personal responsibility. God ate — or, “The dog ate my homework,” went out in the fifth grade, OK?

Here’s the thing. We own our lives. I mean, if you’re hurting, we’ll help you.

You know, my mother used to say — my mother used to say that it is a sin not to help somebody who needs help but it’s equally a sin to continue to help somebody who needs to learn how to help themselves. Personal responsibility needs to be restored in our country.

(APPLAUSE)

Teach our children. Resilience. Everybody doesn’t get a trophy just for showing up, folks.

(LAUGHTER) You know what resilience is? It’s getting knocked down, and I have been knocked down so many times.

But getting knocked down’s not the problem. It’s refusing to get up. We need to teach our kids, teach our children about resilience and remind ourselves that you’re 51 years old, and you lost your job. You’re going to come back stronger and better, and we’ll help you.

Empathy, this one is so important. I just would ask you to think. Put yourself in the shoes of another person. We’re so quick to make judgments today in our country. Don’t walk so — so — so fast.

You know, yesterday, I was coming downtown, and — and there was a lady, and she was older, and she had a cane, and she was barely walking. She was putting one foot in front of another. I wanted to stop and just hug her, encourage her.

People who have not been dealt — dealt the best hand in life, yeah, we want to hold them accountable, but the Lord wants our hearts to reach out to those that don’t have what we have. I mean, that shouldn’t be hard for America. That’s who we are.

When people have studied our country, they have talked about our compassion, and we need to bring it back. Empathy, don’t be so quick to judge. Me, too, OK? Me, too.

And then teamwork. I know Tom Moe is up here. You know, one time, he — you know, he used to run the veterans. I call it the great arc of life.

The man goes in the military, he sits in the Hanoi Hilton, beaten all the time in a tiny little cell, he comes home, and I put him in charge of the veterans. I mean, this was the arc, the beautiful arc of what’s right.

Tom had a little code. I don’t know where he is right now. Here he is right here. He tapped out a code that kept them all together, and it was team that carried them through the most difficult times.

Uncle George, it was team that helped you to be successful, wasn’t it? The Vietnam veterans and Iraqi veterans and the Afghanistan veterans, we do best. Or the Depression, when we all hung together. Teamwork, team, they’re not the enemy; they’re part of our team. We can disagree. They’re our team.

And then family, huh? Look at these families here. It’s the building block of America. It’s the building block of our culture. Let’s recognize it.

KASICH: And of course, faith. And faith is real simple for me. It’s about the dos, not about the don’ts. And what it’s really about is God didn’t put us on this Earth just to take of ourselves, He put us on this Earth to make things a little bit better because we live here.

And so there are some that are going to try to divide us; we see about it all the time. You know (inaudible) forget it. I don’t pay any attention to that kind of nonsense. At the end of the day, it’s about being together. Because, you know, it says We the People.

And by the way, if you think that I or anybody who becomes president or a big shot, we don’t — we don’t move America. Oh, we do our part if we have courage and intelligence, but it’s all of us in the neighborhoods, in the families across the country. We’re the strength and the glue. Don’t — please, please, please don’t lose sight of it. As for me, I’m just a flawed man, a flawed man trying to honor God’s blessings in my life.

I just — I don’t even understand it. He’s been very good to me. And I want you to know that I will do my very best to serve you because you are in my mind’s eye. Who are you? Get up every day, go to work, work hard, follow the rules, come home, spend time with your family and at night, you go to bed and say your prayers for your family, for your neighbors and for our nation.

And folks, as it has been said many times, the light of a city on a hill cannot be hidden. The light of a city on a hill cannot be hidden. America is that city and you are that light.

God bless you and God bless America. Thank you all very much.

 

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Full Text Campaign Buzz 2016 July 13, 2015: Full Text of Gov. Scott Walker’s Campaign Launch Speech Transcript

ELECTION 2016

CampaignBuzz2016

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2016

THE HEADLINES….

Transcript: Read Full Text of Gov. Scott Walker’s Campaign Launch

Source: Time, 7-13-15

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker launched his presidential campaign Monday with a speech in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Here is a transcript for the full remarks.

I love America.

As kids, my brother David and I enjoyed going over to the home of a neighbor by the name of Claire Congdon. In our small town, Mr. Congdon was something of a legend. He served our country in both World War I and World War II.

Then, like so many other veterans, he returned home and continued to serve his community. Mr. Congdon helped out with the concession stand at Legion baseball, he was active in our church and he was one of the leaders of my Boy Scout troop.

Each year before Memorial Day, he would organize all of us Scouts as we put flags on the graves of the fallen. He loved America. It was impossible to be around him and not share his love for God and Country.

Thirty years ago, Mr. Congdon’s American Legion Post in our small town of Delavan, Wisconsin, helped me attend Badger Boys State. This is where I learned about state and local government. It was then my honor to be chosen to represent Wisconsin at a program called Boys Nation.

There I met a Vietnam veteran from Georgia by the name of Bob Turner. Bob and the other veterans who helped run the program did more than teach us about the federal government and national elections, they shared their love for our country, and instilled within me the importance of public service as we seek to protect our freedom.

These veterans remind me that America is a can-do kind of country. We just have a government in Washington that can’t seem to get the job done. Washington, or as I call it, 68 square miles surrounded by reality.

The good news is that there is still time left to turn things around.

To do this, we need new, fresh leadership; leadership with big, bold ideas from outside of Washington; the kind of leadership that can actually get things done – like we have here in Wisconsin.

Since I’ve been Governor, we took on the unions and won.

We reduced taxes by $2 billion and lowered taxes on individuals, employers and property. In fact, property taxes are lower today than they were in 2010. How many Governors can say that?

Since I’ve been Governor, we passed lawsuit reform and regulatory reform. We defunded Planned Parenthood and enacted pro-life legislation. We passed Castle Doctrine and concealed carry. And we now require a photo ID to vote in the State of Wisconsin.

If our reforms can work in a blue state like Wisconsin, they can work anywhere in America.

Traveling the country, I’ve heard people say that they are tired of politicians who only tell them what they’re against and why they should vote against someone.

Americans want to vote FOR something and FOR someone.

So let me tell you what I’m for: I’m for Reform. Growth. Safety.

I’m for transferring power from Washington to the hard-working taxpayers in states all across the country. That’s real reform.

I’m for building a better economy where everyone can live their piece of the American Dream. That’s pro-growth.

I’m for protecting our children and grandchildren from radical Islamic terrorism and other threats in the world. That’s true safety.

My record shows that I know how to fight and win. Now, more than ever, we need a President who will fight and win for America.

Real Reform

First, we need to be for real reform in Washington.

Our big, bold reforms in Wisconsin took the power from the big government special interests and put it firmly into the hands of the hard-working taxpayers.

Today, people elected by local taxpayers actually get to run the schools. Our reforms ended seniority and tenure. Now we can hire and fire based on merit and pay based on performance. We can put the best and the brightest in the classroom.

Four years later: our graduation rates are up, third grade reading scores are higher and Wisconsin’s ACT scores are now second best in the country.

Government that is closest to the people is usually the best. This is why we should move power and money out of Washington and send it back to our states and communities in key areas like Medicaid, transportation, workforce development and education.

Sadly though, Washington seems to measure success by how many people are dependent on the government. Instead, we should measure it by just the opposite: by how many people are no longer dependent on the government.

We understand that true freedom and prosperity don’t come from the mighty hand of the government, they come from empowering people to live their own lives and control their own destinies through the dignity that comes from work.

You see, my first job was washing dishes at the Countryside Restaurant. Then, I moved up to the big times and started flipping hamburgers in high school at McDonald’s to save up for college.

My dad was a small-town pastor and my mom worked as a part-time secretary and bookkeeper. My grandparents were farmers who didn’t have indoor plumbing until my mom went off to junior high school. My dad’s dad – my Grandpa Walker – was a machinist for 42 years at Barber-Coleman.

Looking back, I realize my brother David and I didn’t inherit fame and fortune from our family. What we got was the belief that if you work hard and play by the rules, you can do and be anything you want. That’s the American Dream. And that is worth fighting for.

Helping adults who are able to work transition from government dependence to true independence will help more people live that dream.

In Wisconsin, we enacted a program that says that adults who are able to work must be enrolled in one of our job training programs before they can get a welfare check. Now, as of the budget I just signed, we are also making sure they can take a drug test.

When I proposed this, the status quo defenders cried that we were making it harder to get government assistance. My response? No, we’re making it easier to get a job.

Strong families help too. We know that children who are raised in a household where both parents are involved are more likely to finish school, find a good job and live a life free of government dependence.

The federal government needs to support strong families by ending the marriage penalty and by reforming welfare programs that discourage fathers from being involved in the lives of their children.

I know how important both my parents were to my brother David and I when we were growing up.

That’s why Tonette and I try to be good role models for Matt and Alex and we are proud of the leaders that each have become today.

We want to ensure that they – and every other son and daughter – have the opportunity to grow up in a more free and prosperous country.

Pro-Growth

To ensure that prosperity, we need to be for a pro-growth economic plan that helps individuals and families earn, save and achieve their piece of the American Dream.

Instead of the top-down, government-knows-best approach we hear from politicians in Washington, we need to build the economy from the ground up in a way that is new and fresh, organic and dynamic.

As long as you don’t violate the health and safety of your neighbors – go out and start your own career, build your own business, live your own life.

That’s freedom – the freedom that serves as the cornerstone of the American Dream.

To help live that dream, we have a plan to help the people of this country create more jobs and higher wages.

First, we must repeal ObamaCare. That’s right, repeal the so-called Affordable Care Act entirely and put patients and families back in charge of their health care decisions – not the federal government.

As Governor, I approved Wisconsin joining the lawsuit against ObamaCare on my first day in office. We need a President who – on the first day in office – will call on Congress to pass a full repeal of ObamaCare.

Next, we need to rein in the federal government’s out-of-control regulations that are like a wet blanket on the economy. Yes, enforce common sense rules – but don’t add more bureaucratic red tape.

In Wisconsin, I called for an overhaul of Wisconsin’s regulatory process on my first day as Governor. We can do the same in Washington, then we can act to repeal Obama’s bad regulations.

Then, put into place an “all-of-the-above” energy policy that uses the abundance of what God has given us here in America and on this continent. We are now an energy-rich country and we can literally fuel our economic recovery.

We need a President who will approve the Keystone pipeline on the very first day in office and then seek to level the playing field for all sources of energy.

Next, we need to help people get the education and the skills they need to succeed. This will help people find careers that pay far more than the minimum wage.

In Wisconsin, we reformed our public schools and gave families as many quality choices as possible because I trust parents to make the right decision for their children. I believe that every child deserves access to a great education – be it in a traditional public, charter, choice, private, virtual or home school environment.

We want high standards, but we want them set at the local level. No Common Core. No nation-wide school board.

I will push to take the power and money out of Washington and send it to our states and our schools, where it is more effective, more efficient and more accountable to the people of America. Think about it: where would you rather spend your dollar – in Washington or at your child’s school?

And then, we need to lower the burden on hard-working taxpayers to improve take-home pay. And we need tax levels that are competitive for job creators to bring jobs back from overseas to put more of our fellow Americans back to work.

We can do it. We did it in Wisconsin and we can do it in Washington, too.

So, why do I focus so much attention on tax relief? Well, some of you know that Tonette and I like to shop at Kohl’s. Over the years, I’ve learned that if I’m going to buy a new shirt, I go to the rack that says that the shirt was $29.99 but now is $19.99. Then, I take the coupon from the Sunday paper up to the cashier or I take out the flyer that we get in the mail that gives us 15 or 20% off – or even 30% if we are really lucky.

Then, Tonette reaches into her purse and pulls out some Kohl’s cash. Next thing you know, they’re paying us to buy that shirt.

Well, not really. So how does a company like Kohl’s make money?

Volume. They make it off of volume.

You see, they could charge you $29.99 and a few of you could afford it or they can lower the price and broaden the base and make more money off of volume.

That’s what I think about your money – the taxpayers’ money. The government could charge the higher rates and a few of you could afford it. Or, we can lower the rates and broaden the base and increase the volume of people participating in our economy.

Years ago, we saw this kind of plan work well under President Ronald Reagan. Back then, it was called the Laffer Curve. Today, I call it the Kohl’s Curve because I believe that you can spend your own money far better than the government – and that will help grow the economy.

True Safety

To prosper, however, we need a safe and stable world. Let me tell you why I’m for true safety. To me, the commander in chief has a sacred duty to keep the people of America safe.

During my lifetime, the best president on national security and foreign policy was a Governor from California. Under his leadership, we rebuilt our military, stood up for our friends, stood up to our enemies and – without apology – stood for American values: this led to one of the most peaceful times in modern American history.

Today sadly, under the Obama/Clinton doctrine, America is leading from behind and we’re headed toward a disaster.

We have a President who drew a line in the sand and allowed it to be crossed. A President who called ISIS the JV squad, Yemen a success story and Iran a place we can do business with. Iran…think about that.

My brother David and I used to tie ribbons around the tree in front of our house during the 444 days that Iran held 52 Americans hostage. One of them was Kevin Hermening who grew up down the road in Oak Creek. He was the youngest hostage – a Marine working at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.

Kevin Hermening is here today. He knows that Iran is not a place we should be doing business with. Iran hasn’t changed much since he and the other hostages were released on President Reagan’s first day in office.

Looking ahead, we need to terminate the bad deal with Iran on Day One, put in place crippling economic sanctions and convince our allies to do the same.

Earlier this year, the President proclaimed that climate change is the greatest threat to future generations. Well Mr. President, I respectfully disagree. The greatest threat to future generations is radical Islamic terrorism and we need to do something about it.

That means lifting the political restrictions on our military personnel in Iraq so they can help our Kurd and Sunni allies reclaim land taken by ISIS. On behalf of your children and mine, I’d rather take the fight to them than wait for them to bring the fight to us.

We need to acknowledge that Israel is our ally and start treating Israel like an ally. There should be absolutely no daylight between our two countries. That’s why I went to Israel earlier this year and met with both the Prime Minister and the opposition leader to express my wholehearted support for the unshakeable bonds between our two countries.

We need to stop the aggression of Russia into sovereign nations. Putin bases his policies on Lenin’s old principle: probe with bayonets, if you encounter mush, push; if you encounter steel, stop.

With Obama and Clinton, Putin has encountered years of mush. The United States needs a foreign policy that puts steel in front of our enemies.

We need to stop China’s cyber attacks, stop their territorial expansion into international waters and speak out about their abysmal human rights record.

We need to have the capacity to protect our national security interests – here and abroad – and those of our allies. That begins with rebuilding the Defense budget at least to the levels recommended by Secretary Gates.

We need to honor our men and women in uniform by giving them the resources they need to keep us safe – and then give them the quality and timely healthcare they deserve when they return home.

But I believe that the best way we can honor them is by fighting to win. This is important because our goal is peace, but there will be times when America must fight.

And if we must, Americans fight to win.

The world needs to know that there is no better friend and no worse enemy than the United States of America.

America is a great country. We just need to lead again.

It’s not too late. We can do it because we’ve done it before.

Veterans like Claire Congdon and Bob Turner remind me that what makes America great, what makes us exceptional, what makes us the greatest country in the world, is that all throughout our history during times of crisis – be it economic or fiscal, spiritual or military – what makes America amazing, is that there have been men and women of courage who thought more about future generations than they did about their own political futures.

This is one of those times in American history.

After a great deal of thought and a whole lot of prayer, we are proud to announce that I am officially running to serve as your President of the United States of America.

Tonette and I want our sons Matt and Alex – and all of the other sons and daughters like them – to grow up in a country that is at least as great as the one we inherited.

Americans deserve a President who will fight and win for them.

Someone who will stand up for the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Someone who will stand up for our religious rights and all of our other Constitutional rights. Someone who will stand up for America.

You see, It doesn’t matter if you’re from a big city, a suburb or a small town, I will fight and win for you.

Healthy or sick, born or unborn, I will fight and win for you.

Young or old – or somewhere in between – I will fight and win for you.

Over the years, I’ve met some amazing people who came here from other places around the world. The people I’ve met tell me that they didn’t come here to become dependent on the government.

No, the reason they came was because America is one of the few places left in the world where it doesn’t matter what class you were born into or what your parents did for a living. In America, you can do and be anything you want.

Here, the opportunity is equal for all, but the outcome is up to each and every one of us.

You see, there is a reason we just took a day off to celebrate the 4th of July and not April 15th. Because in America, we celebrate our independence from the government and not our dependence on it.

That’s why I love America. That’s why we love America. That’s why – working together – we can fight and win for America.

God bless you. God bless our troops. And may God bless the United States of America.

Full Text Campaign Buzz 2016 June 4 , 2015: Full Text of Rick Perry’s Campaign Launch Transcript

ELECTION 2016

CampaignBuzz2016

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2016

THE HEADLINES….

Transcript: Read Full Text of Rick Perry’s Campaign Launch

Source: Time, 6-4-15

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry launched his bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination in Dallas Thursday.

Here is a transcript of the full remarks, as prepared for delivery.

Thank you. I was born five years after the end of a global war that killed more than 60 million people.

I am the son of a veteran of that war, who flew 35 missions over war-torn Europe as a tail gunner on a B-17.

When dad returned home, he married mom, and they started a life together.

They were tenant farmers.

They were raised during a time of great hardship, and had little expectation beyond living in peace, putting a roof over our heads and putting food on our table.

Home was a place called Paint Creek. Too small to be called a town, but it was the center of my universe.

For years we had an outhouse, and mom bathed us in a number two washtub on the back porch. She also hand-sewed my clothes until I went off to college.

I attended Paint Creek Rural School, grades one through 12. I played 6-man football. I was a member of Boy Scout Troop 48, became an Eagle Scout, and went off to Texas A&M where I was a member of the Corps of Cadets and an animal science major.

I was proud to wear the uniform of our country as an Air Force officer and aircraft commander.

After serving, I returned home to the rolling plains and big skies of West Texas, and I returned to farming.

There is no person on earth more optimistic than a dryland cotton farmer. We always know a good rain is just around the corner, no matter how long we’d been waiting.

The values learned on my family’s cotton farm are timeless: the dignity of work, the integrity of your word, responsibility to community, the unbreakable bonds of family, and duty to country.

These are enduring values. Not the product of some idyllic past, but a touchstone of American life in our small towns, our largest cities, our booming suburbs.

I have seen American life from the red dirt of a West Texas cotton field, from a campus in College Station, from the elevated view of a C-130 cockpit, and from the Governor’s office of the Texas Capitol.

I served a small rural community in the Texas Legislature, and I led the world’s 12th largest economy.

I know that America has experienced great change, but what it means to be an American has never changed: we are the only nation in the world founded on the power of an idea that all “are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Our rights come from God, not from government, and our people are not the subjects of government, but instead government is subject to the people.

It has always been the case that there has been a social compact between one generation of Americans and the next: to pass along an inheritance of a stronger country full of greater promise and possibility.

And that social compact has been protected at great sacrifice. This was never more clear to me than when I took my father to the American cemetery that overlooks the bluffs at Omaha beach.

On that peaceful, wind-swept setting, there lie 9,000 graves, including 45 pairs of brothers, 33 of whom are buried side by side, a father and a son, two sons of a president. They all traded their future for ours in a final act of loving sacrifice.

In that American Cemetery, it is no accident each headstone faces west: west over the Atlantic, towards the nation they defended, the nation they loved, the nation they would never come home to.

It struck me as I stood in the midst of those heroes that they look upon us in silent judgment. And that we must ask ourselves: are we worthy of their sacrifice?

The truth is we are at the end of an era of failed leadership.

We have been led by a divider who has sliced and diced the electorate, pitting American against American for political purposes.

Six years into the so-called recovery, and our economy is barely growing. This winter, it actually got smaller.

Our economic slowdown is not inevitable, it is the direct result of bad economic policy.

The president’s tax and regulatory policies have slammed shut the door of opportunity for the average American trying to climb the economic ladder, resigning the middle class to stagnant wages, personal debt, and deferred dreams.

Weakness at home has led to weakness abroad.

The world has descended into a chaos of this president’s own making, while his White House loyalists construct an alternative universe where ISIS is contained and Ramadi is merely a “setback” – where the nature of the enemy can’t be acknowledged for fear of causing offense, where the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism, the Islamic Republic of Iran, can be trusted to live up to a nuclear agreement.

No decision has done more harm than the president’s withdrawal of American troops from Iraq.

Let no one be mistaken, leaders of both parties have made grave mistakes in Iraq. But in January, 2009 – when Barack Obama became Commander-in-Chief – Iraq had been largely pacified.

America had won the war. But our president failed to secure the peace.

How callous it seems now as cities once secured with American blood are now being taken by America’s enemies, all because of a campaign slogan.

I saw during Vietnam a war where politicians didn’t keep faith with the sacrifices and courage of America’s fighting men and women, where men were ordered into combat without the full support of their civilian commanders.

To see it happen again, 40 years later, because of political gamesmanship and dishonesty, is a national disgrace.

But my friends, we are a resilient country. We have been through a Civil War, we’ve been through two world wars, we’ve made it through a Great Depression – we even made it through Jimmy Carter. We will make it through the Obama years.

The fundamental nature of this country is our people never stay knocked down. We get back up, we dust ourselves off, and we move forward. And we will again.

I want to share some important truths with my fellow Americans, starting with this truth: we don’t have to settle for a world in chaos or an America that shrinks from its responsibilities.

We don’t have to apologize for American exceptionalism, or western values.

We don’t have to accept slow growth that leaves behind the middle class, and leaves millions of Americans out of work.

We don’t have to settle for crumbling bureaucracies that target taxpayers and harm our veterans.

And we don’t have to resign ourselves to debt, decay and slow growth.

We have the power to make things new again. To project American strength again, to get our economy going again.

And that is why today I am running for the presidency of the United States of America.

It is time to create real jobs, to raise wages, to create opportunity for all. To give every citizen a stake in this country. To restore hope, real hope to forgotten Americans, millions of middle class families who have given up hope of getting ahead, millions of workers who have given up hope of finding a job.

Yes, it’s time for a reset, time to reset the relationship between government and citizen.

Think of the arrogance of Washington, DC, representing itself as some beacon of wisdom, with policies smothering this vast land with no regard for what makes each state and community unique. That’s just wrong.

We need to return power to the states, and freedom to the individual.

Today our citizens and entrepreneurs are burdened by over-regulation and unspeakable debt.

Debt is not just a fiscal nightmare, it is a moral failure. Let me speak to the millennial generation: massive debt, passed on from our generation to yours, is a breaking of the social compact.

You deserve better. I am going to offer a responsible plan to fix the entitlement system, and to stop this theft from your generation.

To those forgotten Americans drowning in personal debt, working harder for wages that don’t keep up with the rising cost of living, I come here today to say your voice is heard.

I know you face rising health care costs, rising child care costs, skyrocketing tuition costs, and mounting student loan debt. I hear you, and I am going to do something about it.

To the one in five children in families on food stamps, to the one in seven Americans living in poverty, to the one in ten workers who are unemployed, under-employed or given up hope of finding a job: I hear you, you are not forgotten.

I am running to be your president.

For small businesses on Main Street struggling to just get by, smothered by regulations, targeted by Dodd-Frank: I hear you, you’re not forgotten. Your time is coming.

The American People see a rigged game, where insiders get rich, and the middle class pays the tab.

There is something wrong when the Dow is near record highs, and businesses on Main Street can’t even get a loan.

Since when did capitalism involve the elimination of risk for the biggest banks while regulations strangle our community banks?

Capitalism is not corporatism. It is not a guarantee of reward without risk. It is not about Wall Street at the expense of Main Street.

The reason I am running for president is I know for certain our country’s best days lie ahead. There is nothing wrong in America today that cannot be fixed with new leadership.

We are just a few good decisions away from unleashing economic growth, and reviving the American Dream.

We need to fix a tax code riddled with loopholes that sends jobs overseas and punishes success.

We have the highest corporate tax rate in the western world. It is time to reduce the rate, bring jobs home and lift wages for working families.

By the time this Administration has finished with its experiment in big government, they will have added more than 600,000 pages of new regulations to the Federal Register.

On my first day in office, I will issue an immediate freeze on all pending regulations from the Obama administration. That same day, I will send to Congress a comprehensive reform and rollback of job-killing mandates created by Obamacare, Dodd-Frank and other Obama-era policies.

Agencies will have to live under strict regulatory budgets. And health insurers will have to earn the right to your money, instead of lobbying Washington to force you to hand it over.

On day one, I will also sign an executive order approving the construction of the Keystone Pipeline.

Energy is vital to our economy, and to our national security. On day one, I will sign an executive order authorizing the export of American natural gas and oil, freeing our European allies from dependence on Russia’s energy supplies.

Vladimir Putin uses energy to hold our allies hostage. If energy is going to be used as a weapon, I say America must have the largest arsenal.

We will unleash an era of economic growth, and limitless opportunity. We will rebuild American industry. And we will lift wages for American workers.

It can be done because it has been done in Texas.

During my 14 years as governor, Texas companies created almost one-third of all new American jobs.

In the last seven years of my tenure, Texas created 1.5 million new jobs. Without Texas, America would have lost 400,000 jobs.

We were the engine of growth because we had a simple formula: control taxes and spending, implement smart regulations, invest in an educated workforce, and stop frivolous lawsuits.

Texas now has the second highest high school graduation rate in the country and the highest graduation rates for African-American and Hispanic students.

We led the nation in exports, including high-tech exports. We passed historic tax relief, and I was proud to sign balanced budgets for 14 years.

We not only created opportunity, we stood for law and order.

When there was a crisis at our border last year and the president refused my invitation to see the challenge that we faced, I told him, “Mr. President, if you won’t secure the border, Texas will.”

Because of the threat posed by drug cartels and trans-national gangs, I deployed the Texas National Guard.

The policy worked. Apprehensions declined by 74 percent. If you elect me your president,
I will secure this border.

Homeland security begins with border security. The most basic compact between a president and the people is to keep the country safe.

The great lesson of history is strength and resolve bring peace and order, and weakness and vacillation invite chaos and conflict.

My very first act as president will be to rescind any agreement with Iran that legitimizes their quest to get a nuclear weapon.

Now is the time for clear-sighted, proven leadership. We have seen what happens when we elect a president based on media acclaim rather than a record of accomplishment.

This will be a “show-me, don’t tell me” election, where voters look past the rhetoric to the real record.

The question of every candidate will be this one: when have you led? Leadership is not a speech on the senate floor, it’s not what you say, it’s what you do.

And we will not find the kind of leadership needed to revitalize the country by looking to the political class in Washington.

I have been tested. I have led the most successful state in America. I have dealt with crisis after crisis – from the disintegration of a space shuttle, to Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Ike, to the crisis at the border, and the first diagnosis of Ebola in America.

I have brought together first responders, charities and people of faith to house and heal vulnerable citizens dealing with tragedy.

The spirit of compassion demonstrated by Texans is alive all across America today. While we have experienced a deficit in leadership, among the American People there is a surplus of spirit.

And among our great people, there is a spirit of selflessness – that we live to make the world better for our children, and not just ourselves.

It was said that when King George the Third asked what General Washington would do upon winning the war, he was told he would return to his farm and relinquish power. To that, the monarch replied, if he did that, he would be the greatest man of his age.

George Washington lived in the service of a cause greater than self.

If anyone is wondering if America still possesses the character of selfless heroes, I am here to say, “Yes, I am surrounded by such heroes.”

They are of different generations, but they are woven together by the same thread of selfless sacrifice.

They are heroes like Medal of Honor Recipient Mike Thornton, who survived an ambush by enemy forces in Vietnam, and made it back to the safety of a water rescue, only to find out a fellow team member had been left behind, presumed dead.

He didn’t leave though, he returned through enemy fire and retrieved Lieutenant Norris who was still alive – and then swam for two hours keeping his wounded teammate afloat until they were rescued.

Heroes like Marcus Luttrell, who survived a savage attack on the side of a mountain in Afghanistan, losing his three teammates and 16 fellow warriors shot down trying to rescue him.

He is not just the lone survivor, to Anita and me he is a second son.

And Taya Kyle, who suffered the deep loss of her husband Chris, an American hero. When I think of Taya Kyle, I think of a brave woman who carries not just the lofty burden of Chris’ legacy, but the grief of every family who has lost a loved one to the great tragedy of war, or its difficult aftermath. Anita and I want to thank her for her tremendous courage.

America is an extraordinary country. Our greatness lies not in our government, but in our people.

Each day Americans demonstrate tremendous courage. But many of those Americans have been knocked down and are looking for a second chance.

Let’s give them that chance. Let’s give them real leadership. Let’s give them a future greater than the greatest days of our past.

Let’s give them a president who leads us in the direction of our highest hopes, our best dreams and our greatest promise.

Thank you, and God bless you.

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